American Paranoia

What is going on in this country? It used to be that killing someone was absolutely the worst thing a person could do. Rape came in a close second. Law enforcement kills people out of panic or suspicion. They rarely get more than a minor slap. Male prison guards rape female inmates. It is rape because the prisoner has no right to consent to sex. The woman is the one who is punished for indulging in sex. Do the victims of these actions have constitutional rights to a fair trial and all that goes with it? Not usually. I understand that law enforcement individuals live in a state of high alert if not paranoia, especially in high crime areas.

The media adds to the paranoia. The higher the crime profile or the more horrible it is, the more they repeat the item until the public is sure that such a crime is about to happen in their neighborhood. The abduction and murder of children is relatively rare; however, the public has rated it in polls as much more common and threatening in every town. The media tends to whip the public into a frenzy of fear. At the same time, law enforcement puts out the standard word. ‘Do not approach this individual. They are considered armed and dangerous.’ More things to fear. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? In Georgia last week some 12 year old boys were playing in the woods and building a tree house behind a suburb. The police were called. They appeared with guns drawn and put the boys on the ground and cursed them, I guess for being boys. One boy said later, “I thought the police were supposed to be your friend.

I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to be shot." Is this what we want our boys to grow up thinking? It isn’t always law enforcement with paranoid behavior. Thousands of people are shot to death in the country every year, most without any justifiable cause. Last week in Billings, a homeowner shot a teenaged house guest because he thought he was an intruder. How frightened of life does a person have to be to do something like that?

Are there so many bad guys out there, that a homeowner and family man has to have a gun on his hip and shoot before he sees who it is? It is reported that the young man will live. I understand there have been home invasions in Billings for the past few years. But to shoot before you look is madness. I haven’t heard how he will be charged, but if he had shot a grizzly bear, a protected species, he would be in deep trouble. I guess humans are not a protected species. Then, of course, there is the Missoula international incident. A man and his wife after having been robbed set up a trap in their garage with cameras and sensors.

They set her purse in sight by the open garage door, and waited up three nights for someone to come and take the purse. Finally, they got an alarm and the man sprayed the garage with four shotgun blasts. A seventeen year old exchange student, a German citizen, was killed without warning. The young man was a well-liked student and soccer player, As far as is known, he wasn’t a thug or druggie. Now Missoula has a German Envoy watching their judicial process. The killer will plead castle defense. He felt threatened he claims. Paranoid seems closer. I heard there was another incident in Montana with similar entrapment, but I have no information on it. I wonder if my neighbor is like that? Everyone I know has guns. What is to be done? A young man is dead because of a foolish mistake. Young men do make foolish mistakes. It takes the state twenty years or more to execute for murder.

This took twenty seconds for trespassing. These threats and events happen in this country every day and the media makes sure we hear about them. For many people such events make them more fearful and paranoid. They respond by preparing for the worst. This looks like an ever increasing spiral of murderous events.

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